Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Protect Your Heart
February is American Heart Month – a time when the only thing that occupies the mind of health-conscious Americans is cardiovascular health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease has been the foremost reason for death among men and women in the US, with coronary artery disease being the most common type, irrespective of the race and ethnicity they belong to. The Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention put emphasis on hypertension – high blood pressure – a major factor that eventually leads to heart disease and stroke. The Division is devoted to addressing the barriers to health equity in areas that are highly affected by cardiovascular disease.
Small Changes Can Make a Big difference
Even though you can do nothing about some of the risk factors such as family history, age, or gender, there are still some key measures that can reduce the risk of heart disease. To start with, adopt a healthy lifestyle from today. You should be aware of the symptoms of heart pain. In men, some very common signs include chest pain, shortness of breath, cold sweat, heartburn, arm pain upper back pain, and many more while in women, the symptoms are fatigue, lightheadedness, cold sweat, stomach ache, and so on. Women, however, experience fewer signs that are mentioned above. They are more likely to feel shortness of breath, pressure in the abdomen, or lightheadedness with no chest pain. To avoid getting yourself exposed to any sort of heart disease, here are seven lifestyle strategies that can help enhance your heart health.
Avoid Smoking or Using Tobacco
The chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and the blood vessels. Cigarette smoke lowers the oxygen in the blood which causes an increase in the blood pressure and heart rate as the heart then has to put in a greater amount of effort to supply sufficient oxygen to the body and brain.
Remain Physically Active
Daily physical activity helps reduce the risk level of heart disease and maintain your body weight. It also lowers the chances of developing other conditions that may affect the heart negatively such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
Start Eating a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet protects the heart, improves blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. The two examples of food plans that can keep your heart healthy are – the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet.
Don’t Eat a Lot
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight makes you more prone to heart disease. A leading cause of this is eating excessively. When you eat more calories than what your body needs, the excess is stored as fats in the body. Over time, these fats are accumulated and lead to weight gain. Such an excess weight increases the chances of you having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. These diseases can alter your lifestyle in significant ways and in extreme cases can be fatal as well.
Try to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
People who usually don’t get enough sleep get exposed to a greater degree of obesity, hypertension, heart attack, diabetes, and depression. The adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night for them to be active.
Learn to Control Your Stress
Some people manage their stress in unhealthy ways like eating more, drinking, and smoking. Instead of doing all this, try to find other ways of dealing with your stress such as physical activity, mind-relaxing exercises, meditation, and many more that can help you cope with stress in a healthy way.
Get Yourself Checked up Regularly
High blood pressure and cholesterol are two of the riskiest heart diseases that damage not only the heart but the blood vessels too. However, without conducting proper tests, it will be difficult to identify whether you have these conditions or not. Thus, getting regular or even frequent check-ups can aware you of what your numbers are and whether any sort of action is required.
Your heart is one of the most important parts of the body which is overlooked until something goes wrong with it. It is better to try to keep your heart healthy to ensure it provides a strong flow for you before anything bad happens to it and things go out of your hand to keep it fit.
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